HTC One M9 header.jpg

Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge stole much of the spotlight at Mobile World Congress 2015, but there was another big Android smartphone reveal that has people talking. HTC unveiled the successor to its popular One M8 flagship smartphone, the HTC One M9. The beautiful aluminum design, BoomSound speakers and everything else that made the One M8 such a great smartphone remain, while the few complaints from users have been addressed in the new model. Now the wait is over, the HTC One M9 is available for pre-order in Best Buy stores as of today.

Key Specs


  • 5-inch Super LCD display at Full HD (441 ppi), with Gorilla Glass 4
  • Qualcomm quad-core Snapdragon 810 CPU with 3GB RAM
  • 32 GB storage, microSD card expansion to 2 TB  
  • Primary camera 20 MP with sapphire cover lens, autofocus, dual LED flash, 4K video
  • Dual front-facing BoomSound speakers with Dolby Audio
  • Dual band 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • 2840 mAh battery rated at 21.7 hours 3G talk time
  • Android 5.0 (Lollipop)
  • Weighs 157g

1. Everything that Made the HTC One M8 Great

There were a lot of things to like about the HTC One M8. It’s aluminum design set the bar for Android smartphones. At 5-inches, the Full HD display was big, but not so big that the device felt over-sized. Front-facing BoomSound speakers made it equal to many portable Bluetooth speaker systems. And it was equipped with a snappy CPU for fast performance. I tested an HTC One M8 last year and it was a very impressive smartphone.

2. A Few Tweaks

There were two issues that dogged the One M8.

The first was that some people found the polished metal case could be slippery. This year, the case remains all aluminum, but the finish is slightly different (I think it looks even better) and HTC says the adjustment makes it grippier.

 One M9 front view.jpg

The more controversial issue was its primary camera. The One M8 had dual rear cameras, that used UltraPixels instead of the usual megapixels. The resolution of 4 UltraPixels was unchanged over the 2013 HTC One M7, although the second camera offered the unique ability to change the focus in photos—after they’d been snapped.

Although UltraPixels offered a low light advantage and the dual camera system’s capabilities were interesting, it was tough to get past the fact that the One M8’s camera just seemed underpowered compared to the 16MP shooters everyone else was using and its resolution made it less suited to landscape shooting.

So with the One M9, HTC moved the UltraPixel sensor to the front, for a selfie camera that should provide excellent low-light performance. The main shooter now features a 20MP image sensor that should put the One M9 on par with other flagship smartphones when it comes to photo resolution. 

3. The Usual Yearly Upgrades

Of course the usual spec bumps are here. The biggest sees the One M9 move to the new Snapdragon 810 CPU. RAM is also bumped from 2GB to 3GB. Expect the HTC One M9 to be one of the fastest smartphones out there.


4. Android Lollipop

Finally, the One M9 ships with Android 5.0 (Lollipop). Besides a cleaner interface, Lollipop delivers a performance boost and improved battery life. For more details on what to expect in Lollipop, check out my overview of Android in 2015. HTC’s own Sense overlay is also improved for 2015 and includes new customization options.

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1+2+3+4 = An HTC One M9 That’s a Contender for Best Flagship Smartphone 

There are some really good smartphones out there. At the moment, the iPhone 6 and the new Samsung Galaxy S6 are the ones to beat, but the HTC One M9 has a lot going for it. And if this smartphone successfully builds on the excellent One M8, it should be an instant contender for the best flagship smartphone of 2015. 

You can pre-order your HTC One M9 at your local Best Buy location today!

Brad Moon
Editor Computing solutions
I’m a long-time electronics and gadget geek who’s been fortunate enough to enjoy a career that lets me indulge this interest. I have been writing about technology for several decades for a wide range of outlets including Wired, Gizmodo, Lifehacker, MSN,, Kiplinger, and GeekDad. I’m in my 10th year as a senior contributor for Forbes with a focus on reviewing music-related tech, Apple gear, battery power stations and other consumer electronics. My day job is with the Malware Research Center at AI-native cybersecurity pioneer CrowdStrike.